James: Encountering the Torah of Freedom – Chapter 3 part 2

Dec 12th Is the anniversary of my final pastoral approval.

My big idea for today is that, godly wisdom is only a prayer away. My prayer for us is that by hearing this message, together we will embrace the promises of God and trust in His divine wisdom. If you have your Bibles today you can join me in James chapter 3, verse 13.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:13-18

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points.

Know The Source Of Your Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:13-16

James is continuing his teaching that true faith produces good deeds. Not just good deeds but those deeds that glorify God. Up to this point James has identified some issues in the church. Inaction/complacency, evil desires, favoritism, false teaching, and evil speech. James has focused on 2 Hebrew ideas. First is “lashon hara” which is “tongue of the evil.” And second is “Gehenna” which speaks to the origin/location of Israel’s sin. James continues to draw upon these concepts when speaks of 2 types of wisdom. He demonstrates their characteristics and the location of origin of each type

A better understanding to this passage is: If you are wise/wisdom from God, you will let your actions do the talking. The proof will be that of a good life, humble and good deeds that will glorify God.

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:14-16

James switches to the contrast. Bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, boasting or denying the truth is characterized as “such wisdom” Which is not from heaven, but earthly and even demonic. Leading to disorder and every evil practice.

Here’s why this is so important that we get this today. Many of us go through times of sorrow, affliction, or offense. Each of us has an opportunity to process whatever grief we are facing. We also have a choice to hold on to it or not process it.

I’ll move on to my next point.

True Wisdom Reaps Righteousness.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:17-18

Choosing God’s wisdom is a path that leads to an inner purity. Then, as the scripture says, comes peace-loving, considerate, submissive, merciful, good fruit, impartial, and sincere. What a concept! Wisdom and righteousness. Why wouldn’t you choose this for your life.

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

Isaiah 32:17-18

The reason we choose to the other path is because in some way we have become deceived.

Everyday we wake up we have a choice to decide whom we will serve. We make a choice either to be glad in the things of God and embrace his many blessings. Or we will make the choice to wallow in negativity of the things around us. Here is the true wisdom that brings righteousness…

I’ll close with this…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah 29:11-12

Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ?

These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today?

Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today.

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.

If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me?

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26